Human Dignity and Social Status

Peter Drucker talked about this in “Concept of the Corporation.”

“It is perhaps the biggest job of the modern corporation — to find a synthesis between justice and dignity, between equality of opportunities and social status and function.”

One of the thesis discussed by Andrew McAfee and Erik Brynjolfsson in their books was the hollowing out of the middle class primarily because the jobs and careers have been immensely transformed by technology.

What is technology doing to us? Perhaps that is the wrong question to ask. Technology is just a tool. People can use tools for both constructive purposes or un-constructive outcomes.

Is it possible to improve the situation? Leaving machine and AI progress unchecked, we might approach a situation where prosperity (wealth and power) will be reaped by just the precious few, while everyone else endures the hardship.

Some might say this is just natural selection at work. Survival of the fittest.

Many of us in my age group was brought up to be good corporate citizens, to contribute, and to grow with the organizations. In turn, the organization will share the success and prosperity with its employees.

I am not sure that is how the system works anymore. There are still some companies operating with that philosophy, but most organizations treat their people just as a line item in the budget spreadsheet.

I am in the camp of McAfee and Brynjolfsson where we, as a society, need to make some hard choices so the prosperity can be shared. With the participation of its citizens, the policy makers can do more in the areas of education reform, infrastructure investment, flexible immigration, and basic research.

Furthermore, I agree with Drucker… Provide dignity to everyone you work with simply because they are human beings.